Split-flaps for increased heel stability of t-foil configurations
Paper i proceeding, 2021
Horizontal T-foils allow for maximum lift generation within a given span. However, for T-foils, the lift force acts in the symmetry plane of the boat, thereby producing no righting moment. It results in a lack of transverse stability during foil-borne sailing. In this project, we propose a system, where the height-regulating flap on the trailing edge of the foil is split into a port and a starboard flap, whose angle is adjusted proportionally to the heel. Such a system generates and scales the righting moment based on the heel angle, making the boat easier to balance. The effectiveness of this system is studied for a custom-made double-handed skiff using a dynamic velocity prediction program (DVPP), especially in the take-off phase. It is shown that the split flap system generates a larger righting moment for the foiling boat than for the non-foiling one at boat speeds above 3 m/s.. The improved stability comes at a cost of additional induced resistance and this effect is computed by CFD. It is shown, using the DVPP, that the increased resistance, slows down the boat at the lowest wind speeds, but above 2.5 m/s true wind, the split flap boat is as fast as the boat with a single flap around the racecourse. Due to the higher stability, less depowering of the sails is required, and that compensates for the increased resistance.